Have you ever watched an Olympic sprinter? Ever watched Sir Charles Barkley work the paint? Ever stand awestruck as Nolan Ryan dominates an All-Star lineup on the mound? Have you ever studied them?
Here’s what I see…
Every time an elite athlete begins a move, there’s a shift. Sometimes it’s subtle… the pressure on the starting blocks before Ussain Bolt breaks another world record. Sometimes it’s obvious… Clayton Kershaw beginning his windup.
In order to create massive force, you have to “load up”. A chain reaction that starts in the mind, even the soul, manifests through a step back…
Sometimes, in order to move forward, you have to move back. Sometimes, to move forward, you have to stop completely and change directions.
I used to board a plane four times a week. I travelled 300 days a year. I met hundreds of new people every week. I went from a glorified assistant to a director. I was paid extremely well. But it wasn’t for me… the environment didn’t work, the company didn’t gel with what I wanted to do with my life, and I had a family that had just added its third human (fourth person if you count the dog). I needed to move forward.
In order to do so, I had to step back.
I stepped back from an incredible income for a decent one. I stepped back from freedom to supervision. But I stepped forward into my role as husband and father.
Four years later, I stepped back from the security blanket of my income treadmill. I stepped back from someone planning my entire day for me. I stepped forward into opportunity, creativity, and purpose.
Almost every positive move in your life will require at least a momentary set back. Whether it’s having to start again and learn a new skill, resurrect old skills, learn a new industry, or develop a new network or whether it’s taking a year to get back to what you were making before only for it to double in the third year or changing your title from Something Manager to New Something Representative… you’re going to have to give something up.
But don’t forget why you considered it in the first place.
Is it the people? The culture? The leadership? The vision? The income? The benefits?
Don’t let your fear keep you from doing something grand. Average is easy – it requires zero sacrifice. Maintaining the status quo is just giving in to inertia. Grand actions require grand effort and a powerful intent.
Know yourself and do what is right for five years from now, not five weeks from now.
Onward and upward my friends.